It is important to note that the pollen generated by several flowers can worsen the allergy symptoms and those who have allergies often avoid fresh flowers. Majority of orchid species do not trigger pollen allergies but capable of causing allergic reactions through contact. If the individual handles an orchid and notices skin rashes after a short while, he/she might be allergic to the sap from the flowers. A doctor should be consulted regarding the appropriate treatment for this allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms?
It is important to note that contact dermatitis is used to describe an allergic reaction that manifests on the body right after direct exposure to an irritant which is the orchid. The condition is characterized by red-colored bumps, dry or cracked skin, itchiness, pain and blisters. The severity of the symptoms typically depends on the length of contact experienced as well as the sensitivity level of the individual to orchids.
Once an individual experiences an allergic reaction to orchids, a doctor should be consulted. The doctor might want to assess the affected area or prescribe a topical treatment readily available in pharmacies. Aside from ointments, the doctor can also prescribe the application of a wet compress over the area to minimize the itchiness and discomfort.
If the individual experiences a severe reaction or symptoms continue to persist without being aware of having an orchid allergy, the individual might have to take oral medications until the exact cause is determined.
If contact dermatitis due to orchids is not treated, it can result to complications, particularly in severe reactions. Changes in the skin can occur with persistent scratching in the affected area and can lead to development of tough, leathery patches of skin.
The topical ointments that are often prescribed to minimize the itchiness must be correctly used to prevent damage on the skin through scratching. A break in the skin due to scratching can introduce bacteria that can result to a skin infection. Once the skin is open, you have to keep it covered to prevent dirt and debris from entering as well as avoiding the development of infection.
Considerations to bear in mind
Individuals who love orchids and do not want to avoid the plants can observe precautions to prevent an allergic reaction from developing. When watering or trimming orchids, it is important to use gloves to protect the hands and cover any body part that might come in contact with the plant to prevent exposure to the sap.
In case accidental exposure occurs, wash the affected area immediately and apply the prescribed medications. An allergic reaction to orchids is not likely to spread to other parts of the body but if it spreads, a doctor should be consulted to rule out other possible issues.